intu Lakeside has signed eight new restaurants following a £9 million investment that has seen a complete reconstruction of level three to deliver the highest standard in food court design. The operators have all signed leases ranging from 10 to 15 years and will open this summer.
The reconstruction comes ahead of the development of a new £100m leisure area, which will see the arrival of further catering names, as well as other leisure uses such as family entertainment venues and health and fitness facilities.
The names joining the new design food court include the first shopping centre location for renowned Italian chef and TV personality Gino D’Acampo’s My Pasta Bar, following the initial concept opening in London’s Fleet Street last year. My Pasta Bar is a fast, casual pasta bar serving authentic Italian cuisine to the diner on the move.
US burger chain Five Guys is also set to open at intu Lakeside this summer. The Virginia based business originally launched in the 1980s but has expanded rapidly since 2003 and opened its first UK store in London’s Covent Garden in 2012.
Tortilla, the independent Californian Burritos and Tacos restaurant is opening its sixth store outside London at intu Lakeside. Started in 2007 by a Californian couple, this will be their 18th restaurant in the UK.
Harpers British Classics, which specialises in good quality, hearty homemade British food, will be opening its first unit outside of its Midlands’ heartland at intu Lakeside and London-centric sushi and Japanese cuisine chain Wasabi has begun expanding further afield this year. The operators will be joined by Patisserie Valerie, Thai Express and Nandos.
The range of restaurants is part of a 20 strong line-up that comprises 1,100 seats in total and complements the centre’s casual dining offer in The Boardwalk, an al fresco restaurant area alongside the lake which sits adjacent to the centre.
As well as the eight new names, the remodelled food court will incorporate existing tenants such as Ed’s Easy Diner, Taco Bell and Pizza Express, to produce an enhanced dining experience. The enhanced offer is further complemented by the high-end 360 Champagne Bar, which sits as a centrepiece mezzanine floor beneath the food court.
Retail design specialists Rawls and Co have created a bold look which includes high quality finishes, intelligent light fittings which automatically adjust depending on the time of day, as well as custom made designer furniture.
Kate Miller, General Manager (Operations) for intu Lakeside, said: “The contemporary, cutting edge design of the £9 million food court investment allows us to provide a perfect backdrop for exciting brands such as these and allows intu Lakeside to ensure it offers the same freshness within its catering offer as we do in our retail mix. Two further units are currently in solicitor’s hands.”
In addition to the investment in the food court and the approved plans for a new leisure area, intu Lakeside also received outline planning consent last year for a £180 million expansion of its retail offer, enabling it to expand retail space by a further 40 units to meet the demand from brands wanting a place in the centre.